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Undertaking a Detailed Strategic Analysis of a Firm's Capabilities and Environment

This item of assessment is designed to allow you to demonstrate your ability to undertake a detailed analysis of a firm’s strategic capabilities and external environment. Your evaluation of the firm’s internal and external environment should demonstrate understanding of the nature of entrepreneurial recognition, including the need for innovation and creativity that helps the organisation to exploit market opportunities.


Select an organisation from any industry or sector, and write a report in response to the tasks below:

  1. Provide a brief introduction for your report.
  2. Critically analyse the internal resources and capabilities that give the organisation a competitive advantage.

1 The grade is provisional until confirmed by the relevant assessment board(s). Your work will be marked in grades rather than percentages. This is considered to deliver the most accurate and fair outcomes for students. Each assessment that you undertake will be assessed using the common grading system. Information about the grading system can be found in your Student Handbook, Section 10.

The Grade Criteria can be found in Appendix C of your Student Handbook.

  1. Identify the key drivers of change in the external environment and evaluate their impact on the entrepreneurial activities of the organisation. In your response, use an appropriate framework and any relevant tools such as mind map to analyse the external environment (i.e. you may present your work in the format of a self-designed diagram, a mind-map or a ‘mini-poster’ which you include in your report) (500 words)
  2. Using Porter’s Five Forces framework and/or any other relevant tools, evaluate the impact of the main competitive forces that are influencing entrepreneurial activities and profitability within the industry. (600 words)
  3. Write a clear conclusion that succinctly highlights the key aspects covered in your report in answers to the tasks above. (150 words)
  • Introduction (150 words) 5%
  • Analysis of internal environment (600 words) 30%
  • Analysis of external environment (500 words) 20%
  • Analysis of competitive forces within the industry (600 words) 30%
  • Conclusion (150 words) 5%
  • References and use of Harvard referencing style 5%
  • Structure and presentation 5%

Additional guidance:

In your report, you are expected to:

  • Follow the structure outlined above but you may change the wording of the headings and add sub-sections to your report
  • In your response to Task 3, you may use diagram/mind-mapping tools available in MS Office or another application, e.g. Padlet. You will then need to take a screenshot of your work and insert into your report. Further information will be provided in class and on Canvas.
  • Conduct independent research and use a range of academic sources
  • Use Harvard referencing throughout for your citations and the reference list.
  • This assignment should be submitted as a Microsoft Word file.

This item of assessment covers the following learning outcomes. For the full list of learning outcomes for the module, please refer to the Module Study Guide.

  • Develop a general understanding of the nature of entrepreneurial opportunity recognition and need for innovation and creativity.
  • Identify and critically evaluate strategic options.
  • Critically analyse and evaluate the different approaches to shaping entrepreneurial vision and identifying opportunity.
  • Analyse and evaluate internal resources and the external environment.
  • Communicating ideas in a business report.
  1. Have you checked Canvas messages/announcements for any additional/final details of the assessment?
  2. Are you submitting in the correct submission area e.g. if it is a resubmission of your second assignment it should be ‘AS2R’?
  3. Make sure you are submitting the correct final version of your work.
  4. Have you kept to the word limit? Remember, anything greater than 10% above the word count will not be marked.
  5. Have you addressed the assessment requirements as outlined in the Assessment Brief?
  6. Have you spell checked and proofread your work?
  7. Is your work formatted correctly and consistently?
  8. Are you submitting a document in the correct format?
  9. Is your work written in an appropriate academic style?
  10. Have you checked your citations and Reference List/Bibliography?
  11. Have you submitted your work to get a similarity report to check you have paraphrased where required?
  12. Have you read the Declaration of Authorship (Appendix 2)?

By submitting this work electronically to Bloomsbury Institute and the University of Northampton, I confirm that I have read and understood the Declaration and Definitions below:

Declaration of Authorship:

  1. I hold a copy of this assignment which can be produced if the original is lost/damaged.
  2. This assignment is my original work and no part of it has been copied from any other student’s work or from any other source except where due acknowledgement has been made.
  3. No part of this assignment has been written for me by any other person except where such collaboration has been authorised and as detailed in the Assessment Brief.
  4. I have not previously submitted this work for any other course/module.
  5. Where applicable, I have included a declaration confirming external editorial or proof-reading services
  6. Plagiarism is the presentation of the work, idea or creation of another person as though it is one’s own. It is a form of cheating and is a serious academic offence which may lead to expulsion. Plagiarised material can be drawn from, and presented in, written, graphic and visual form, including electronic data, and oral presentations. Plagiarism occurs when the origin of the material used is not appropriately cited.
  7. Collusion is working with someone else on an assessment task which is intended to be wholly your own work.
  8. Contract cheating/Commissioning is where you contract out an academic assessment to writers and purchase back the finished work and submit it as your own.
  9. Duplication/Replication is submitting the same material more than once for the purposes of obtaining academic credit.
  10. Fabrication refers specifically to the falsification of data, information or citations in an academic exercise, typically an assignment. This includes false excuses for missing deadlines and false claims to have submitted work. It may be specifically referred to as falsification.
  11. My completed assignment is submitted and checked for plagiarism through the use of plagiarism detection software called Turnitin. Please note: Submitting work which is not your own and/or cheating in exams can be considered as fraud2 and handled in accordance with the University of Northampton’s Academic Integrity and Misconduct Policy. Penalties can include:
  • Reduction in grade for assignment.
  • Grade for module reduced to AG [fail for academic misconduct] and right to repeat module withdrawn.
  • Termination from studies.

If a student is suspected of commissioning (e.g. paying someone to write an assignment for them), this could be classed as fraud under student disciplinary procedures, separate to academic misconduct procedures. If proven, the consequences would be severe, including removal from their course of study.

The University of Northampton’s Academic Integrity and Misconduct Policy (Sections 4.10 – 4.14) provides clear guidance on the use of proof-readers to check your work.

What you need to know:

  1. You can ask your tutors or our Learning Enhancement and Employability (LEE) Team ([email protected]) for advice and support on how to proof your work.
  2. Proof-readers should not make live changes to your work. They should only indicate where possible changes could be made.
  3. A proof-reader should not change the meaning of your work in any way.
  4. If a proof-reader’s comments or amendments do change the meaning of your work, this may be deemed as academic misconduct.
  5. If you do use a proof-reader you must declare this clearly when you submit your work. The declaration should be on the first page (cover page) of your assignment.

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